Play teaches emergency number

2018-10-23 06:00
The crew demonstrating the emergency number during their performance at Sentinel Primary in Hout Bay on Thursday 18 October.

The crew demonstrating the emergency number during their performance at Sentinel Primary in Hout Bay on Thursday 18 October.

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The City of Cape Town used a theatre play to educate primary school learners about its emergency numbers during its promotional drive at schools last week.

According to a City statement, the production was an effort to raise awareness about the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre’s (PECC) role in an emergency.

The number 021 480 7700 was reportedly at the heart of the play and learners were encouraged to memorise it. It can be contacted from a cellphone 24 hours a day; alternatively, the public may dial 107 from a landline.

The promotion was run through a partnership between the PECC and the Bridgetown Theatre Company.

The production was performed at 10 primary schools including Sentinel Primary in Hout Bay, Vista Nova Primary in Rondebosch, Mitchell’s Plain Primary, Rondebosch East Primary, Kleinberg Primary in Ocean View and other schools in Khayelitsha, Bellville, Langa, Atlantis and Dunoon.

The production pulls in well-known fairytale characters like Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf, Prince Charming and Goldilocks who find themselves in situations requiring assistance with a medical emergency or a crime in progress. Each scene has a happy ending, and the production includes a question-and-answer session where children discuss what they have learned.

Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, says: “The emergency call centre is one of our most crucial resources, particularly over the festive season when they are often the first port of call in times of trouble. While we are directing our awareness efforts at children, I also encourage adults to ensure that they have the number saved on their cellphone. In an emergency, every second counts and the last thing you need is scrambling for contact details for the appropriate emergency services.”

Smith says they will hold debriefing sessions before plotting a way forward later in the week. More schools will be targeted.

According to the statement, the PECC staff answered nearly 500 000 calls in the 2017/18 financial year and they dispatch resources based on the type of incident requiring attention. “Alternatively, calls are relayed to external agencies like the Metro Emergency Medical Service.”

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